T Nation

Upper chest

Help, Any suggestions on building a massive upper chest? Any help at all would be appreciated. Thanks

Random thoughts: exercise variety, massive eating, volume, androgens…

Hitting all your standard incline movements, but also hitting a large range of incline with the bench (from flat to shallow), uber-slow tempo bench presses to the collar bone, either as a pre-fatigue or finisher. I say very slow tempo because you could potentially screw yourself up if you had too much of a load on and then lost your form.

Eat a lot and do inclines.

Personally, my upper chest has been a problem bodypart for me for a while now and I’ll tell you what I’ve done to try to remedy it. First off, I work it as close to day one in my cycle as possible, it’s the first bodypart I hit on that day and I use a higher volume than I use on both the rest of my chest and the rest of my body, on that day (incidently, I break my chest workouts up with upper chest and lower chest worked on separate days).

Depending on how poorly developed your upper pecs are, you might need to forgo flat bench work for some time or at least drop the volume and/or intensity (go to maintenance) until you overcome your weakness and the proportions come back in line. In short, you need to prioritize in all aspects!

Of course, incline presses are helpful, but I find dumbell flyes with your palms out, where you bring the dumbells back towards your ears (do a search on T-Mag on Charles Poliquin to see what he has to say about these) have helped me get some good upper chest shape and boy do you feel these. Machine presses a la Hammer Strength might help, if you have problems focussing your efforts on your upper chest. Dumbell presses are good because you get an excellent stretch at the bottom. Go super slow on the negatives and follow tempo carefully here and make sure you can feel it in your upper chest all the way and learn to find the groove every time. Hope this helps.

Good advice above. Go heavy on dumbell bench presses, also try barbell bench with a wide grip, lowering the bar to the top of the sternum. Incline presses too (around 35 degrees). If chest is a lagging part for you, try working it, if not everything, twice a week. I’ve found much better overall results that way.

And, of course, eat eat eat eat eat.

Incline bench is good. You can also try a flat bench press bringing the bar down to you clavicles with your elbows flared wide out - this helped me. Be cautious of your shoulders though since this can be an awkward position for them.

I think that this version of the bench press was mentioned in Ian King’s 12 weeks to a bigger bench article that was run back in 1999 or early 2000.

Good Luck

DB Incline presses have been the primary excercise for my upper chest. And as others have said: eat alot of food.
Oh, and I prefer a more explosive movement to my presses.

hey all, thanks for the input…it’s not that I have a general problem with size (6’1" 230 lbs) my upper pecs just seem to be a trouble spot and don’t seem to want to grow like the rest of my muscles. I get plenty to eat, and I take supplements, so I’m not worried about the eating part. I just haven’t been able to get them to respond to any kind of training. All my other muscle groups, I’ve been able to tweak my training and find exercises and routines that work really well…just not the upper chest…but thanks for all your positive feedback…I’d love to hear anything else anyone out there has…oh, and please forgive this rambling note, I’ve been at work now for 24 straight hours, and have 3 1/2 more before I get to go home and sleep my holiday away. Best of luck to everyone out there.

You’d think the roids would help some.

do superset- barbell incline press followed by incline dumbell flyes. use heavy weight and keep the reps low at 6 + 6. laters pk

Why woud think roids would “do something” ??

Roids don’t grow muscle, weights do though.

The “supplements” I was referring to are not roids. I take 4 high protein drinks a day, and until about 1 year ago I took creatine. I do not take roids, and never will. Not that I have a problem with them, or people who use them, but my personal choice is not to use them.

Fork lifts to the mouth. High volume. 2 hours between sets.


I wasn’t talking to you… I was talking to CMC…

I assume he was assuming you were on roids anyways, you’re name is misleading.

I seem to have the same problem, can add to all body parts but upper chest! The following seemed to help me out…start with one set of pec dec to pre-exhaust the chest, then do incline smith, then decline bar. Now i know this sounds weird but declined seemed to help…might be related to the opposite training theory…and then finish with pec dec…2 weeks 5x5, 2 weeks 1 set failure, 2 weeks 5 x 12…seemed to help me out a bit! But were all different! I found that the smith machine allowed added significant muscle stimulius and keep form (aka focus use of upper chest)GOOD LUCK

Yeah, i figured that about my name, but I was a decathlete in college, and we had a saying that was “decathletes do it ten times better.” So that’s where that comes from.